SB: Mauga muscles up to give UA a series win

SB: Mauga muscles up to give UA a series win

BERKELEY, CA - Katiyana Mauga hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the top of the sixth inning, lifting No. 18 Arizona softball to a 4-3 victory over 11th-ranked California to secure the series victory in the Pac-12-opening series in Berkeley.

Michelle Floyd (12-4) was brilliant in the circle for Arizona (23-7, 2-1 Pac-12). After early troubles with the strike zone, Floyd settled in and did not allow a hit after the second inning. Floyd retired 16 of the final 19 batters she faced, allowing just three base runners from the third inning on, none of which made it into scoring position. Floyd gave up three runs, just one earned, on three hits in the seven innings. The sophomore struck out four and walked six in the contest.

In two complete-game victories over Cal (22-3, 1-2 Pac-12), Floyd allowed just three earned runs on seven total hits.

The Wildcats, who went just 4-8 on the road in Pac-12 play a season ago, earned their first Pac-12-opening-series victory since 2011.

Arizona's offense was stagnant for the majority of the contest, going hitless through three innings. After breaking up Stephanie Trzcinski's no-hit bid in the fourth with a single, Arizona got on the scoreboard in the fifth with a pair of doubles.

In the sixth, a walk and a one-out single put runners at the corners for Mauga in a 3-1 game. The sophomore cleared the left field fence on a 2-1 pitch, turning a two-run deficit into a one-run lead.

Cal would put the tying run on with walks in both the sixth and seventh innings, but Floyd kept the runners from advancing in both instances.

The Bears jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first after three Michelle Floyd walks, the final of which, a Breanna Kostreba RBI free pass, gave Cal a 1-0 lead. Cal would go on to strand the bases loaded in the first.

Cal added two unearned runs in the second. Floyd retired the first two batters of the second inning but a hit, error and HBP loaded the bases for Cheyenne Cordes, who singled in a pair to give Cal a 3-0 lead.

Trzcinski (10-1) was cruising until Mo Mercado led off the fifth with a double and Hallie Wilson doubled her home with two out to put Arizona on the board.

Mauga's three-run home run in the sixth gave the Cats the lead for good.

Arizona returns to action on Wednesday at the San Diego Round Robin. Arizona takes on Connecticut and host San Diego State beginning at 4:30 p.m. PST.

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